October 21-22, 2017
Montgomery Bell State Park
Leader: Marjorie Thompson
Focus: The Non-Dominant God
2,000 years of Christian history and doctrine have taught a theology of God's dominion, or sovereignty. The Incarnation challenges our notions of domination and dominance, inviting us to ask what kind of power God reveals in Jesus. Moreover, both modern psychology and spirituality offer insight into how the Spirit moves through our "inferior" personality functions or non-dominant faculties. Is it possible that our own non-dominance is in deep resonance with God's most profound way of being? We will explore these ideas through the wisdom of sacred texts, poetry, and conversation.
About the Leader
Marjorie J. Thompson brings to her ministry three decades of experience with retreat work, teaching, and writing in Christian spiritual formation. Author of the best-selling Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, she considers writing central to her calling as a Presbyterian minister.
For twelve years Marjorie served as Director of Pathways in Congregational Spirituality with Upper Room Ministries in Nashville, where she was chief architect of Companions in Christ, an innovative small-group resource series for adult spiritual formation
Marjorie has served two congregations in pastoral ministry, and as adjunct faculty for six seminaries. Her educational path includes Swarthmore College, McCormick Theological Seminary, and a research fellowship at Yale Divinity School where she was deeply influenced by her mentor, Henri Nouwen.
Saturday Lunch: We will enjoy a covered dish picnic lunch together at a picnic shelter. Suggested items include your favorite picnic dishes—sandwiches, wraps, deviled eggs, fresh vegetables, chips and dip, salads, fruit, and brownies. Please bring one dish that will serve 12. (No refrigeration provided.)
Saturday Dinner at the Catfish Kitchen $12 per adult and $6 for children. Reservations are helpful, and the cost for dinner can be included in the package.
Breakfast at the lodge restaurant costs between $5.00 and $10.00 per person and is available Saturday and Sunday. The cost of Breakfast is NOT included in the package. No food will be catered or brought in by us during the sessions.
We have reserved a block of rooms for our retreat. Lodge room rates are $89.00 for two adults and up to three children under 16 per night. Pet rooms are available upon request. If you plan to stay in the lodge, you will be asked to commit to a room reservation and pay a $25 non-refundable deposit. Youth will stay in the youth cabins with their youth leaders. Check in time is 4:00 p.m. on Friday (optional) or at arrival on Saturday; check out at 11:00 a.m.
Those who can’t stay overnight are encouraged to participate as their schedule allows. Registration is appreciated.
Youth, Children, and Childcare
A program for youth, one for Peaceable Kingdom-age children, and also childcare for children under the age of 6 will all be provided.
Montgomery Bell State Resort Park boasts 3,782 acres and features 20 miles of hiking trails, fishing, a golf course, an indoor pool, and volleyball and tennis courts. Saturday afternoon is unscheduled for your recreational pursuits. Watch for sign-up sheets for specific activities and to reserve a golf tee time. For more about what to do at Montgomery Bell, check their website,
Friday Night Early Arrivers
Retreat sessions start on Saturday, but for those who like to get settled in advance, you can arrive and check in to the lodge on Friday night. A group will informally gather at Carl’s Perfect Pig (4991 E Hwy 70, White Bluff, TN) at 6 for dinner and fellowship. For menu, cost and restaurant hours call 615-797-4020.
Friday, October 20 (Optional)
6:00-7:00 Informal Dinner at Perfect Pig
Saturday, October 21
10:15-12:00 Session 1
12:00-1:00 Potluck Picnic Lunch (no refrigeration provided)
1:00-5:30 Recreation/Free Time/Golf
5:30-6:30 Dinner at the Catfish Kitchen
6:45-7:45 Session 2
8:00-9:00 Inter-generational Games
9:00-? Music, fellowship
Sunday, October 22
9:00-11:00 Music, Worship Planning
11:00-12:00 Worship and closure
Directions to Montgomery Bell
Take I-40 West from Nashville, to Exit 182 (Fairview/Dickson Hwy. 96 Exit). Turn left (West) onto Highway 96. Stay on Highway 96 until it dead-ends at Highway 70. Turn right (East) on Highway 70, off-ramp provided. Stay on Highway 70 approximately 3 miles. Park entrance is on the right. Goggle Map Link